REVIEW: Entanglement [2018]

Rating: 8 out of 10.
  • Rating: NR | Runtime: 15 minutes
    Release Date: 2018 (USA)
    Director(s): Jeremiah Kipp
    Writer(s): Joseph Fiorillo

Should I have brought you flowers too?


There’s a great moment in Jeremiah Kipp‘s short film Entanglement wherein Frank (Lukas Hassel) explains to the second party of a random sexual encounter assumedly organized online (Robin Rose Singer‘s Jenny) how he used to “see” his ex-girlfriend everywhere after they broke up. Screenwriter Joseph Fiorillo has his character describe the epiphany experienced upon realizing this anxious paranoia wasn’t a matter of his going insane. Frank wasn’t projecting this specific woman onto random strangers because he was consumed by her memory. He simply discovered that his mind had disconnected from his heart. In this separation was the acknowledgement that she truly did look like so many other women populating their city. It was only ever his love for her that made her stand apart.

I couldn’t shake this answer to Jenny’s question about his past because that relationship between mind and heart was a resonant representation of the title. Kipp and Fiorillo painstakingly construct their psychosexual thriller so quantum entanglement proves relevant to these two people who are seemingly the love of each other’s life despite admitting how they’ve never met before, but maybe that was just a ruse. Maybe “she” was inconsequential rather than the second particle forever linked to Frank’s. Maybe “she” was a stand-in allowing his brain to reattach with his emotions. To see her on the street would be to see another pretty blonde. But to see her in bed and in his arms transforms her into the one woman he can’t live without.

The film becomes a multi-level work using its surface and subtext as mutual distractions and/or enhancements. We can either become enraptured in the mysterious union between two consenting adults obviously in love with other people regardless of their desire to spend the night together or latch onto the whole being a personal, intimate recreation of something Frank lost. It’s on you to separate these interpretations or marry them together because both are steeped in romanticism despite any inherent creepiness to the premise. Believing they’re trapped in a loop between past and present signifies their love just as his yearning to reclaim a feeling time erased proves bittersweet and pure. Whereas sexual trysts like this one are usually about literal escape, Entanglement‘s leads conversely wield it as metaphorical restoration.

So there’s definitely replay value here to dig deeper and discover the myriad pathways present onscreen. You can dissect Dominick Sivilli‘s cinematography and the extreme blocking that constantly places both Frank and Jenny into tinier and tinier frames that ensure we see them isolated—as independent figures experiencing their physical union as more than simply sex. They’ve slipped into roles beyond themselves when in his apartment, neither running from nor running to anything because inside that space they find themselves to be exactly what they need. Somehow Frank’s projection of love upon this woman reminds her of her own love too (or perhaps lack thereof). A philosophical reckoning is experienced, one he’ll repeat again and again.

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